Is 'Undercover Boss' the Next Great Reality Show?


The time slot right after the Super Bowl is usually a good place to air. And CBS is hoping that holds for its new reality show, 'Undercover Boss.'


With more than 100 million viewers set to tune in, some are too lazy, too stuffed with party food or (let's face it) too drunk to change the channel. So, they'll stick around for whatever comes on after the final whistle. This year, it's


The new pilot is a stealth reality show -- looking to combine the cheap, easy ingredients of interoffice drama, humor and shock reveals. The title is self-explanatory, but the premise takes a large company and sends its CEO in as an average employee. As that CEO mixes and mingles with his fellow employees, he gets to see what their days are like, whether they enjoy their jobs, etc.


But, let's get to the point. This show is built around and waits for the moment when one of the rank-and-file comments on what an ass the big boss is without knowing that he or she is in ear shot. That's the "oooh" moment for such a show -- and it'll be interesting to watch how the producers handle and time it in the hour.


The first CEO on the block is Waste Management president and COO Larry O'Donnell (above). It'll be a little take on 'Dirty Jobs' to see the clean-cut big shot swing some garbage around.


But, the pilot and every episode does beg one question. Are we to believe that no one in these companies recognizes the boss? Are there no pictures on the walls or company newsletters that show what these folks look like? In an age when reality shows are under scrutiny to prove their "realistic" productions, 'Undercover Boss' better confront that query.


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